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Robert Brophy to step down as World Rugby CFO, plus more

All the week’s movers & shakers in one place.

10 March 2023 Rory Jones

World Rugby

World Rugby chief financial officer Robert Brophy will step down from his role later this year, ending his 26-year tenure at rugby union’s global governing body. 

During Brophy’s time at World Rugby, which included a stint as interim chief executive in 2012, the Irishman has overseen the financial development of both men’s and women’s rugby, as well as the sevens format. Over that period, World Rugby’s quadrennial revenues have increased from UK£30 million (US$35.83 million) to more than UK£650 million (US$776.32 million). 

“Robert’s contribution to World Rugby and the world of rugby is significant,” said Alan Gilpin, chief executive of World Rugby. 

“Over a tenure spanning most of rugby’s professional era, he has been at the heart of the sport’s growth story, playing a leading role in transforming the finances of the organisation and its major events to increase sustainable investment in our national unions and wider sport. 

“That investment has positioned rugby as a major sport on the world stage.” 

World Rugby has opened its search for Brophy’s successor, handing recruitment firm SRI the brief of finding a suitable replacement. 

Elsewhere, AMB Sports & Entertainment (AMBSE), the owner of the National Football League’s (NFL) Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Atlanta United, has made a series of new appointments. The organisation promoted Latonda Henderson to the role of vice president and chief diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) officer, as well naming Karl Pierburg as chief technology officer, Kevin Strada as chief financial officer, and Shannon Joyner as vice president of marketing for the Falcons. AMBSE also appointed Andy Skorupsku as vice president and chief financial officer of Atlanta United. 

In other news, sports data specialist Genius Sports has added Ken Kay and Michael Messara to its board of directors, serving as independent director and independent observer respectively with immediate effect. 


Josh Bartelstein
Chief executive, Phoenix Suns 
Previously: Assistant general manager, Detroit Pistons 

Stu Jackson
Commissioner, West Coast Conference 
Previously: Executive associate commissioner of men’s basketball, Big East Conference 

Jeremy Alumbaugh 
Senior vice president, United Soccer League (USL) Championship 
Previously: Chief executive, Chattanooga FC 

Keia Cole
Chief digital officer, BSE Global 
Previously: Head of digital experience, MassMutual

Rhys Beer
Senior vice president of platform and content, OneFootball 
Previously: Head of content strategy and programming, international, Meta 

Harkiran Chima
Director, Professional Fighters League (PFL) International
Previously: Senior OTT business manager, OneFootball 

Chris Brown
Chief technology officer, Tempus Ex Machina 
Previously: Director of engineering, Tempus Ex Machina 
Note: Tempus Ex Machina was recently included in SportsPro’s sports tech ‘ideas to invest in’ for 2023 

Meredith Powers
Chief human resources officer, Diamond Sports Group 
Previously: Organisation and talent development leader, GE Digital 

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